20-F 1 d644372d20f.htm FORM 20-F Form 20-F
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cea:Aircraft
 
 
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
 
 
FORM
20-F
 
 
 
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
OR
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission file number
1-14550
 
 
中国东方航空股份有限公司
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
 
 
 
China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited
 
The People’s Republic of China
(Translation of Registrant’s Name Into English)
 
(Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)
5/F, Block A2, Northern District, CEA Building
36 Hongxiang 3rd Road, Minhang District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China
Tel: (8621) 6268-6268
Fax: (8621) 6268-6116
(Address and Contact Details of the Board Secretariat’s Office)
Zhou Qimin, Chief Financial Officer
Email: ir@ceair.com
5/F, Block A2, Northern District, CEA Building
36 Hongxiang 3rd Road, Minhang District, Shanghai 201100
People’s Republic of China
(Name, Telephone, Email and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each Class
 
Trading Symbol
 
Name of Each Exchange on which Registered
American Depositary Shares

 
CEA
 
The New York Stock Exchange

Ordinary H
Shares, par value RMB1.00 per share
  
 
 
 
The New York Stock Exchange*
 
 
*
Not for trading, but only in connection with the registration of American Depositary Shares. The Ordinary H Shares are also listed and traded on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
As of December 31,
2021
, 13,697,662,301 Ordinary Domestic Shares, par value RMB1.00 per share, were issued and outstanding, and 5,176,777,777 Ordinary H Shares par value RMB1.00 per share, were issued and outstanding. H Shares are Ordinary Shares of the Company listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. Each American Depositary Share represents 50 Ordinary H Shares.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes   ☐    
No
  ☒
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the
Securities Exchange Act of
1934
during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such
filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of
Regulation
S-T
during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange
Act.
 
Large Accelerated Filer  ☒   Accelerated Filer  ☐   
Non-Accelerated Filer  ☐
  Emerging Growth Company  
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13 (a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐
The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit
report.  
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
U.S. GAAP  ☐
  
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued
by the International Accounting Standards Board  ☒
     Other   ☐ 
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
Item 17  ☐    Item 18  ☐
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ☐ 
   No  ☒
 
 
 

 
    
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SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION
In this Annual Report, unless otherwise specified, the term “dollars”, “U.S. dollars” or “US$” refers to United States dollars, the lawful currency of the United States of America, or the United States or the U.S.; the term “Renminbi” or “RMB” refers to Renminbi, the lawful currency of The People’s Republic of China, or China or the PRC; the term “Hong Kong dollars” or “HK$” refers to Hong Kong dollars, the lawful currency of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, or Hong Kong; the term “SGD” refers to Singapore dollars, the lawful currency of the Republic of Singapore; the term “JPY” refers to Japan Yen, the lawful currency of Japan; the term “EUR” refers to EURO, the lawful currency of EMU member countries and the term “KRW” refers to Korea Won, the lawful currency of the Republic of Korea. Any discrepancies in the tables included herein between the amounts listed and the totals are due to rounding.
In this Annual Report, the term “we”, “us”, “our”, “our/the Company”, or “our/the Group” refers to China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited, a joint stock limited company incorporated under the laws of the PRC on April 14, 1995, and our subsidiaries, or, in respect of references to any time prior to the incorporation of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited, the core airline business carried on by its predecessor, China Eastern Airlines, which was assumed by China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited pursuant to the restructuring described in this Annual Report. The term “CEA Holding” refers to our parent, China Eastern Air Holding Company, which was established on October 11, 2002 as a result of the merger of our former controlling shareholder, Eastern Air Group Company, or EA Group, with China Northwest Airlines Company and Yunnan Airlines Company.
For the purpose of this Annual Report, references to The People’s Republic of China, China and the PRC do not include Hong Kong, Taiwan, or the Macau Special Administrative Region of China, or Macau.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain information contained in this Annual Report may be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements relating to:
 
   
the impact of changes in the policies of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, or the CAAC, regarding route rights;
 
   
the impact of the CAAC policies regarding the restructuring of the airline industry in China;
 
   
the impact of macroeconomic fluctuations (including the fluctuations of oil prices, and interest and exchange rates);
 
   
certain statements with respect to trends in prices, volumes, operations, margins, risk management, overall market trends and exchange rates;
 
   
our fleet development plans, including, without limitation, related financing, schedule, intended use and planned disposition;
 
   
our expansion plan of the cargo operations;
 
   
our expansion plans, including possible acquisition of other airlines;
 
   
our marketing plans, including the establishment of additional sales offices;
 
   
our plan to add new pilots; and
 
   
the impact of unusual events on our business and operations.
The words or phrases “aim”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “continue”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “going forward”, “intend”, “may”, “ought to”, “plan”, “potential”, “predict”, “project”, “seek”, “should”, “will”, “would”, and similar expressions or the negatives thereof, as they relate to our Company or its management, are intended to identify “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the
Securities Act of 1933
, as amended, and Section 21E of the
Securities and Exchange Act of 1934
, as amended, or the Exchange Act. These forward-looking statements are based on current plans and estimates, and speak only as of the date they are made. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement in light of new information, future events or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are, by their nature, subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control, and are based on assumptions and analyzes made by us in light of our experience and our perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors we believe are appropriate in particular circumstances. We caution you that a number of important factors could cause actual outcomes to differ, or to differ materially, from those expressed in any forward-looking statement, including, without limitation:
 
  (1)
changes in political, economic, legal and social conditions in China;
 
  (2)
any changes in the regulatory policies of the CAAC;
 
  (3)
the development of the high-speed rail network in the PRC;
 
  (4)
fluctuations of interest rates and foreign exchange rates;
 
  (5)
the availability of qualified flight personnel and airport facilities;
 
  (6)
the effects of competition on the demand for and price of our services;
 
  (7)
the availability and cost of aviation fuel, including but not limited to pricing trends and risks associated with fuel hedging;
 
  (8)
any significant depreciation of Renminbi or Hong Kong dollars against U.S. dollars, Japanese yen, Singapore dollar, Korea Won or Euro, the currencies in which the majority of our borrowings are denominated;
 
  (9)
our ability to obtain adequate financing, including any required external debt and acceptable bank guarantees; and
 
  (10)
general economic conditions in markets where we operate.
 
1

GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS
 
Capacity measurements
  
ATK (available tonne-kilometers)
   the number of tonnes of capacity available for the carriage of revenue load (passengers and cargo) multiplied by the distance flown
ASK (available seat kilometers)
   the number of seats made available for sale multiplied by the distance flown
AFTK (available freight tonne-kilometers)
   the number of tonnes of capacity available for the carriage of cargo and mail multiplied by the distance flown
Traffic measurements
  
revenue passenger-kilometers or RPK
   the number of passengers carried multiplied by the distance flown
revenue freight tonne-kilometers or RFTK
   cargo and mail load in tonnes multiplied by the distance flown
revenue tonne-kilometers or RTK
   load (passenger and cargo) in tonnes multiplied by the distance flown
Load factors
  
o
v
erall
load
factor
   tonne-kilometers expressed as a percentage of ATK
passenger load factor
   passenger-kilometers expressed as a percentage of ASK
Yield and cost measurements
  
passenger yield (revenue per passenger-kilometer)
   revenue from passenger operations divided by passenger-kilometers
cargo and mail yield (revenue per cargo and mail tonne-kilometer)
   revenue from cargo and mail operations divided by cargo and mail tonne-kilometers
average yield (revenue per total tonne-kilometer)
   revenue from airline operations divided by tonne-kilometers
unit cost
   operating expenses divided by ATK
Tonne
   a metric ton, equivalent to 2,204.6 lbs
 
2

PART I
Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Not applicable.
Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Not applicable.
Item 3. Key Information
 
A.
[Reserved]
 
B.
Capitalization and Indebtedness
Not applicable.
 
C.
Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
Not applicable.
 
D.
Risk Factors
Risks Relating to our Business
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to reduce its spread have had, and will likely continue to have, a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and implementation of measures to reduce its spread have adversely impacted our business and continue to adversely impact our business in a number of ways. Multiple countries have responded to the virus with air travel restrictions and closures, testing requirements or recommendations against air travel. We experienced a significant decline in domestic and international demand due to the decreased willingness to travel and the implementation of the “Five-One” policy for international flights by the Civil Aviation Administration. For the year ended December 31, 2021, our total ASK and total number of passengers carried increased by 5.7% and 6.0%, respectively, while our passenger load factors decreased by 2.8 percentage points, as compared to the same period of 2020. The decline in demand for worldwide air travel services caused a material deterioration in our revenues in 2020 and 2021, and our net loss attributable to shareholders increased from RMB11.8 billion in 2020 to RMB12.2 billion in 2021.
The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, including the currently unknowable duration of the COVID-19 pandemic; the efficacy of, ability to administer and extent of adoption of any COVID-19 vaccines domestically and globally; the impact of existing and future governmental regulations, travel restrictions that are imposed in response to the pandemic and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer behavior, such as a reduction in the demand for air travel. The total potential economic impact brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to assess or predict, and it has already caused, and is likely to result in further, significant disruptions to global financial markets, which may reduce our ability to access capital on favorable terms or at all, and increase the cost of capital.
In addition, a recession, depression or other sustained adverse economic event resulting from the spread of the coronavirus would materially adversely impact our business and our medium- and long-term financial condition and operations. Unfavorable economic conditions have driven changes in travel patterns, including reduced spending for both leisure and business travel. Unfavorable economic conditions, when low fares are often used to stimulate traffic, have also historically hampered the ability of airlines to raise fares to counteract any increases in fuel, labor, and other costs.
 
3

Recent developments with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines have the potential to affect the scope and duration of the pandemic. While a number of the COVID-19 vaccines have received regulatory approval and are available in the PRC and other parts of the world, a degree of uncertainty exists with respect to the distribution, utilization, and long-term efficacy of vaccinations among the general population. The impact of the COVID-19 vaccines on the pandemic, demand for air travel, and our business remain unknown. Even once the pandemic and fears of travel subside, demand for air travel may remain weak for a significant period of time. In particular, consumer behavior related to traveling may be negatively impacted by adverse changes in the perceived or actual economic climate, including higher unemployment rates, declines in income levels, and loss of wealth resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still highly uncertain and subject to change, and the extent to which COVID-19 impacts our business, results of operations and financial condition in future periods will depend on the future developments of the pandemic, including the outbreak of Delta and Omicron and potential future variants of the virus.
Moreover, any other adverse public health developments, including SARS, Ebola, Avian Flu or Influenza A (H1N1), and the occurrence of natural disasters may, among other things, also lead to travel restrictions and reduced levels of economic activity in the affected areas, which may in turn significantly reduce demand for our services and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our reputation, business prospects, results of operations, financial condition as well as our fleet availability may be materially and adversely affected in the event of an accident or incident involving our flight.
As an airline company, we’re operating a large fleet, an accident or incident involving our aircraft could result in delays and require repair or replacement of a damaged aircraft, which could result in consequential temporary or permanent losses from disruption of service and/or significant liability to injured passengers and others. Unforeseeable or unpredictable events such as inclement weather, mechanical failures, human error, aircraft defects and other force majeure events may affect flight safety, which could result in accidents and/or incidents of passenger injuries or deaths that could lead to significant injury and loss claims, and the amount of such coverage may not be adequate to cover the costs related to an accident or incident in full, which could damage our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, any aircraft accident or incident, even if fully insured, could harm our reputation, competitive position and result in a decrease in our operating revenues. The occurrence of any of the foregoing could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. On March 21, 2022, a Boeing 737-800 passenger plane with flight number MU5735 of China Eastern Airlines Yunnan Co., Ltd. crashed in Wuzhou, Guangxi, China. The investigation of the cause of the accident is still in progress. The Company will further evaluate the impact of the accident, and the current and future impact of the accident on the Company remain uncertain.
Our indebtedness and other financial obligations may have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and operations.
We have a substantial amount of debt, lease and other financial obligations, and will continue to do so in the future. As of December 31, 2021, our total liabilities were approximately RMB231,638 million and our current liabilities exceeded our current assets by approximately RMB57,981 million. Our total interest-bearing liabilities (including long-term and short-term bank borrowings, lease liabilities, bonds payable and super short-term debentures) as of December 31, 2020 and 2021 were approximately RMB184,168 million and RMB193,765 million, respectively, of which short-term interest-bearing liabilities accounted for approximately 38.7% and 31.1%, respectively. Our substantial indebtedness and other financial obligations could materially and adversely affect our business and operations, including being required to dedicate additional cash flow from operations to the payment of principal and interest on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the funds available for operations, maintenance and service improvements and future business opportunities, increasing our vulnerability to economic recessions, reducing our flexibility in responding to changing business and economic conditions, placing us at a disadvantage compared to competitors with lower debt, limiting our ability to arrange for additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes, at all or on terms that are acceptable to us.
Moreover, we are largely dependent upon cash flows generated from our operations and external financing to meet our debt repayment obligations and working capital requirements, which may reduce the funds available for other business purposes. However, the widespread and continuous COVID-19 pandemic has materially decreased passenger demand, thereby adversely affecting operating income and cash flows from operations. In 2021, the passenger traffic (as measured in RPKs) was 108,804 million passenger-kilometres, representing an increase of 1.4% from 2020. In 2021, our passenger revenue amounted to RMB54,105 million, representing an increase of 9.9% from 2020. If our operating cash flow is under continuous adverse impact of factors such as increased competition, a significant decrease in demand for our services resulting from worldwide epidemic such as the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a significant increase in jet fuel prices, our liquidity would be materially and adversely affected. We also try to secure sufficient financing through financing arrangements with domestic and foreign banks in China as well as from debt and equity capital markets. In 2021, we actively expanded financing channels, and completed non-public issuance of A Shares of RMB10.8 billion and RMB9 billion of corporate bonds to ensure that the cash flow can meet our operation needs. In July 2021, we also issued credit enhanced bonds denominated in SGD with total principal of SGD0.5 billion due in 2026. Futhermore, in 2021, we issued a total of RMB39 billion of super short-term debentures, the outstanding amount of which amounted to nil as of December 31, 2021. However, our ability to obtain financing may be affected by our financial position and leverage, our credit rating and investor perception of the aviation industry, as well as prevailing economic conditions and the cost of financing in general. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing for our capital requirements, our liquidity and operations would be materially and adversely affected.
 
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In addition, the airline industry overall is characterized by a high degree of operating leverage. Due to high fixed costs, including payments made in connection with aircraft leases, and landing and infrastructure fees which are set by government authorities and not within our control, the expenses relating to flight operations do not vary proportionately with the number of passengers carried, while revenues generated from a particular flight are directly related to the number of passengers carried and the fare structure of the flight. Accordingly, a decrease in revenues may result in a disproportionately higher decrease in profits.
We may not be able to secure future financing at terms acceptable to us or at all.
We require significant amounts of external financing to meet our capital commitments for acquiring and upgrading aircraft and flight equipment and for other general corporate needs. As of December 31, 2021, we had sufficient unutilized credit facilities billion from various banks. We expect to roll over these bank facilities in the near future. In addition, we generally acquire aircraft through either long-term capital leases or operating leases. In the past, we have obtained guarantees from Chinese banks in respect of payments under our foreign loan and capital lease obligations. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to roll over our bank facilities or continue to obtain bank guarantees in the future. Unavailability of credit facilities or guarantees from Chinese banks or the increased cost of such guarantees may materially and adversely affect our ability to borrow additional funds or enter into international aircraft lease financing or other additional financing on acceptable terms. In addition, if we are not able to arrange financing for our aircraft on order, we may seek to defer aircraft deliveries or use cash from operations or other sources to acquire the aircraft
.
Our ability to obtain financing may also be impaired by our financial position, leverage and credit rating. In addition, factors beyond our control, such as recent global market and economic conditions, volatile oil prices, and the tightening of credit markets may result in limited availability of financing and increased volatility in credit and equity markets, which may materially and adversely affect our ability to secure financing at reasonable costs or at all. If we are unable to obtain financing for a significant portion of our capital requirements, our ability to expand our operations, purchase new aircraft, pursue business opportunities we believe to be desirable, withstand any future downturn in our business, or respond to increased competition or changing economic conditions may be impaired. We have and in the future will likely continue to have substantial debts. As a result, the interest costs associated with these debts might impair our future profitability.
We are subject to the risk of fuel price fluctuations.
Jet fuel is one of the major expenses of airlines. Significant fluctuations of international oil prices will significantly impact jet fuel prices and our revenue from fuel surcharge and accordingly our results of operations. In 2021, our total aircraft fuel cost was approximately RMB20,593 million, representing an increase of approximately 48.8% from approximately RMB13,840 million in 2020. The increase was due to an increase in our fuel consumption by 13.8% from 2020, as a result of the gradual recovery of the travel and transportation demand and the increase in passenger traffic and cargo and mail volume, and an increase in the average prices of fuel by 34.4% from 2020, which is in line with the fluctuation in price of crude oil and other commodities in the global market. In 2021, our total jet fuel cost accounted for approximately 23.7% of our total operating expenses, as compared to approximately 17.7% in 2020. As affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the armed conflict in Ukraine involving Russian military and the global political and economic conditions, there remains great uncertainty on our fuel consumption in 2022, and hence, there also remains great uncertainty on the expected jet fuel costs.
The fluctuations of international crude oil prices and adjustments on domestic jet fuel prices by the National Development and Reform Commission (the “NDRC”) have a significant impact on our profitability. Aircraft fuel prices have been subject to high volatility, fluctuating substantially over the past several years. Our results of operation and financial condition are affected by any significant fluctuations that may occur, which are generally due to factors beyond our control. As such, we generally alleviate the pressure from the rise in operating costs arising from the increase in aviation fuel by imposing fuel surcharges, which, however, are subject to government regulations. In order to control fuel costs, we have also entered into fuel hedging transactions using financial derivative products linked to the price of underlying assets such as United States WTI crude oil and Singapore jet fuel during previous years. In 2021, we used jet fuel forward contracts to deal with the cash flow risks arising from fluctuation of jet fuel prices. The jet fuel forward contracts entered into by us are mainly based on the purchase of jet fuel at a fixed transaction price, and are cash flow hedges. In 2021, our aircraft fuel costs decreased by RMB580 million through aircraft fuel hedging transactions. As of December 31, 2021, we had no outstanding jet fuel forward contracts, while such jet fuel forward contracts amounted to approximately US$252 million as of December 31, 2020.
Since 2009, the PRC government required prior governmental approval for entering into fuel forward contracts. We may, from time to time, seek approval from the PRC government to enter into overseas fuel forward contracts. However, these hedging strategies may not always be effective and high fluctuations in aviation fuel prices exceeding the locked-in price ranges may result in losses. Significant decline in fuel prices may substantially increase the costs associated with such fuel hedging arrangements. In addition, where we may, from time to time, seek to manage the risk of fuel price increases by using derivative contracts, we cannot assure you that, at any given point in time, such fuel hedging transactions will provide any particular level of protection against increased fuel costs.
 
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We are subject to the risk of exchange rate fluctuations.
We operate our business in many countries and territories. We generate revenue in different currencies, and our foreign currency liabilities are typically much higher than our foreign currency assets. Our purchases and leases of aircraft are mainly priced and settled in foreign currencies such as U.S. dollars. Fluctuations in exchange rates will affect our costs incurred from foreign purchases such as aircraft, flight equipment and aviation fuel, and take-off and landing charges in foreign airports. As of December 31, 2021, our total interest-bearing liabilities denominated in foreign currencies amounted to approximately RMB36,835 million, of which U.S. dollar interest-bearing liabilities accounted for approximately 83.0%. Therefore, a significant fluctuation in exchange rates will subject us to significant foreign exchange loss/gain arising from the exchange of foreign currency denominated liabilities, which would affect our profitability and business development. We typically use hedging contracts for foreign currencies to reduce the foreign exchange risks for foreign currency revenues generated from flight ticket sales and expenses required to be paid in foreign currencies. Our net foreign exchange gains decreased from approximately RMB2,494 million in 2020 to approximately RMB1,619 million in 2021. In 2021, we had no forward foreign currency contracts.
As a result of the large value of existing net foreign currency liabilities denominated in U.S. dollars, our results would be adversely affected if the Renminbi depreciates against the U.S. dollar or the rate of appreciation of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar decreases in the future. In the past few years, we expanded our financing channels by issuing guaranteed bonds and credit enhanced bonds denominated in SGD and KRW, and proactively optimized the mix of currency denomination of our debts. Additionally, we expanded our financing channels by means of issuing bonds, super short-term debentures and medium-term notes, and acquiring RMB borrowings to bring in RMB financing, and continuing to optimize the mix of currency denomination of our debts. As of December 31, 2021, our proportion of U.S. dollar-denominated interest-bearing debts out of our total interest-bearing liabilities decreased to approximately 15.8% from 19.9% as of December 31, 2020. Our foreign exchange fluctuation risks are also subject to other factors beyond our control.
We are subject to the risk of interest rate fluctuations.
Our total interest-bearing liabilities (including long-term and short-term bank borrowings, lease liabilities, bonds payable and super short- term debentures) as of December 31, 2020 and 2021 were approximately RMB184,168 million and RMB193,765 million, respectively, of which short- term interest-bearing liabilities accounted for approximately 38.7% and 31.1%, respectively, and long-term interest-bearing liabilities accounted for approximately 61.3% and 68.9%, respectively. Both the short-term and long-term interest-bearing liabilities were affected by fluctuations in current market interest rates.
Our interest-bearing liabilities were primarily denominated in RMB and USD. As of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2021, our interest-bearing liabilities denominated in RMB accounted for approximately 74.3% and 81.0 % of our total interest-bearing liabilities, respectively, and interest-bearing liabilities denominated in USD accounted for approximately 19.9% and 15.8% of our total interest-bearing liabilities, respectively. Fluctuations in interest rates of interest-bearing liabilities denominated in these two currencies have and will continue to have significant impact on our finance costs. As of December 31, 2021, the weighted average interest rates of our RMB-denominated interest-bearing liabilities, USD-denominated interest-bearing liabilities, EUR-denominated interest-bearing liabilities, SGD-denominated interest-bearing liabilities, KRW-denominated interest- bearing liabilities and JPY-denominated interest-bearing liabilities were approximately 3.57%, 3.47%, 0.10%, 2.00%, 2.40% and 0.58%, respectively. In the first quarter of 2018, we also issued credit enhanced bonds denominated in JPY with total principal of JPY50.0 billion due in 2021, bearing fixed interest at the rate of 0.33% per annum and 0.64% per annum for different tranches. In December 2019, we issued bonds denominated in KRW with total principal of KRW300.0 billion due in 2022, bearing fixed interest at the rate of 2.40% per annum. In July 2021, we issued credit enhanced bonds denominated in SGD with total principal of SGD0.5 billion due in 2026, bearing fixed interest at the rate of 2.00% per annum. To cope with the risk of interest rate fluctuation, we strategically changed our debt portfolio by replacing our USD-denominated liabilities with floating interest rates with USD-denominated liabilities with fixed interest rates. As of December 31, 2021, our USD-denominated interest-bearing liabilities with fixed interest rate was approximately US$3,252 million and accounted for approximately 10.6% of our total long-term interest-bearing USD-denominated liabilities, decreasing by approximately 12.1% from that as of December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2021, our outstanding interest rate swap contracts amounted to a notional principal amount of US$495 million as compared to US$690 million as of December 31, 2020. These contracts will expire between the duration of 2022 to 2025. We will continue to optimize our liability structure to lower relevant risks by taking consideration of various factors including the market environment, interest rates and strategic plan. However, we cannot assure you that the relevant lending rates may not increase in the future for reasons beyond our control, which may adversely affect our business, prospects, cash flows, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we expect to issue bonds and notes or enter into additional loan agreements and aircraft leases in the future to fund our operations and capital expenditures, and the cost of financing for these obligations will depend greatly on market interest rates.
 
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Increases in insurance costs or reductions in insurance coverage may have adverse impact our results of operations and financial condition.
We could be exposed to significant liability or loss if our property or operations were to be affected by a natural catastrophe or other event, including aircraft accidents. We maintain insurance policies but we are not fully insured against all potential hazards and risks incident to our business. If we are unable to obtain sufficient insurance with acceptable terms or if the coverage obtained is insufficient relative to actual liability or losses that we experience, whether due to insurance market conditions, policy limitations and exclusions or otherwise, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. The Company and its subsidiaries have taken out insurance for all fleet assets and airline liability insurance, and the relevant insurance policies provide adequate protection for airframe loss, passenger compensation and third party liability compensation on the ground caused by aircraft accidents. After the accident of flight MU5735 on March 21, 2022, China Eastern Airlines Yunnan Co., Ltd. promptly reported the case to the insurance company and started the aftermath insurance claims. At present, the relevant claims work is proceeding in an orderly manner.
We may experience difficulty integrating our acquisitions, which could result in a material adverse effect on our operations and financial condition.
We may from time to time expand our business through acquisition of airlines or airline-related businesses. We may devote significant resources to the integration of our operations in order to achieve the anticipated synergies and benefits of the absorption and acquisitions mentioned above. See “Item 4. Information on the Company” for details. However, such acquisitions involve uncertainties and a number of risks, including:
 
   
difficulty with integrating the assets, operations and technologies of the acquired airlines or airline-related businesses, including their employees, corporate cultures, managerial systems, processes, procedures and management information systems and services;
 
   
complying with the laws, regulations and policies that are applicable to the acquired businesses;
 
   
failure to achieve the anticipated synergies, cost savings or revenue-enhancing opportunities resulting from the acquisition of such airlines or airline-related businesses;
 
   
managing relationships with employees, customers and business partners during the course of integration of new businesses;
 
   
attracting, training and motivating members of our management and workforce;
 
   
accessing our debt, equity or other capital resources to fund acquisitions, which may divert financial resources otherwise available for other purposes;
 
   
diverting significant management attention and resources from our other businesses;
 
   
strengthening our operational, financial and management controls, particularly those of our newly acquired assets and subsidiaries, to maintain the reliability of our reporting processes;
 
   
difficulty with exercising control and supervision over the newly acquired operations, including failure to implement and communicate our safety management procedures resulting in additional safety hazards and risks;
 
   
increased financial pressure resulting from the assumption of recorded and unrecorded liabilities of the acquired airlines or airline- related businesses; and
 
   
the risk that any such acquisitions may not close due to failure to obtain the required government approvals.
We cannot assure you that we will not have difficulties in assimilating the operations, technologies, services and products of newly acquired companies or businesses. Moreover, the continued integration of our acquired companies into our Company depends significantly on integrating the employees of our acquired companies with our employees and on maintaining productive employee relations. In the event that we are unable to efficiently and effectively integrate newly acquired companies or airline-related businesses into our Company, we may be unable to achieve the objectives or anticipated synergies of such acquisitions and such acquisitions may adversely impact the operations and financial results of our existing businesses.
We may be unable to retain key management personnel or pilots.
We are dependent on the experience and industry knowledge of our key management personnel and pilots, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to retain them. Any inability to retain our key management employees or pilots, or attract and retain additional qualified management employees or pilots, could have a negative impact on our operations and profitability.
Our controlling shareholder, CEA Holding, holds a majority interest in our Company, and its interests may not be aligned with other shareholders.
Most of the major airlines in China are currently majority-owned by either the central government or provincial or municipal governments in China. As of December 31, 2021, CEA Holding holds directly or indirectly 56.43% of our Company’s equity stake on behalf of the PRC government. As a result, CEA Holding could potentially elect the majority of the board of directors of the Company (“Board of Directors” or the “Board”) and otherwise be able to control us. CEA Holding also has sufficient voting control to effect transactions without the concurrence of our minority shareholders. The interests of the PRC government as the ultimate controlling shareholder of our Company and most of the other major PRC airlines could conflict with the interests of our minority shareholders. Although the CAAC currently has a policy of equal treatment of all PRC airlines, we cannot assure you that the CAAC will not favor other PRC airlines over us.